Students for Students: Raising Resources for Nepal

Students for Students: Raising Resources for Nepal

Sophia Wagner, Reporter

In 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The country rose 10 feet in 30 seconds. 

Money from fundraisers rushed to Nepal, but the majority of it went to the capital: Kathmandu. Now, the smaller villages located in the remote mountains surrounding the city still feel the repercussions. Homes, temples, and fields filled with rice were destroyed, and few have been brought back to their original state. 

Ernest Schiller, a volunteer with the Rebuild Nepal Education Project, presented at City High to members of the Students for World Relief Action Society. The club then dedicated itself to raising resources to send to Nepal. 

“Most people don’t know anything about Nepal. They don’t know the importance of the yaks; they don’t know the importance of the mountains. We try to work with the people that have lost everything,” Schiller said. 

Schiller visits Nepal once a year, taking volunteers up into the mountain regions to help farm, teach, and bring materials to residents of the mountain towns. 

“We go to these villages that were destroyed, and we live with the people. We go to the schools and try to help them,” Schiller said. 

The Rebuild Nepal Education Project is a completely nonprofit organization. Members collect resources from across the country and take them on trips when they go. There, volunteers not only deliver materials, but help out in the community.

“Everybody works on the land because you have to raise food. When our volunteers go, they can either hike, go to the schools and work, or work in the agricultural regions,” Schiller said. 

This year, SWRAS is helping to collect these resources in hopes of making a difference for the children of Nepal. Education can be incredibly expensive for the families and the Project is attempting to make this process more easily accessible to all. 

“We try to help the kids by raising money for the schools. We buy them whiteboards, and we educate the teachers, and we help the kids. We’ll give them a new science activity, or bring books,” Schiller said, “We also take educational toys, like LEGOs, since they can’t afford [them]. Every kid that we sponsor gets a new uniform, new shoes, a new backpack, and all their educational supplies paid for,” 

Ana Leyser ‘22 is a member of SWRAS and is hoping to hold successful fundraisers throughout the year. 

“[We get a] different perspective on Nepal and what we are actually trying to help. We want to try and help to improve their way of life,” Leyser said. 

Schiller is excited to go back to Nepal and visit the families that the organization has connected with throughout the years. He said the impact of the Project is immeasurable. 

“We give the kids stuffed animals and sometimes they cry because they think their parents will think they stole them,” Schiller said. 

Even though students are not located anywhere near Nepal, they can feel the difference they are making. Maria Volkman ‘22 is happy to be a part of a club that she believes is genuinely causing a change. 

“The club feels very student-led, so when we do things, it feels like we are doing them, and not just doing something the teacher tells us to do. It’s a very friendly environment. You don’t feel a lot of pressure to come every week. It’s very laid-back, but it’s also fun because you get to help out with fundraisers,” Volkman said. 

Students for World Relief Action Society meets every Tuesday morning.